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Ep #277: Weight Loss Struggles with Natalie Brown

This week, I’m excited to talk to one of my favorite students and weight loss coaches, Natalie Brown.

Natalie, like many women, started out early on the hamster wheel of dieting and spent most of her youth chasing the idea of “skinny = happy.” After struggling for many years, she embarked on the journey of discovering mind work (and coaching), finding the reasons behind her overhunger and overdesire for food, and losing 50 pounds.

Join us on this fun interview as Natalie shares her journey of weight loss and pulls back the curtain on what it’s like to be a weight loss coach. We also explore some of the biggest struggles Natalie’s clients deal with when it comes to losing weight and what you can do if you find yourself in similar situations.

If you’re ready to lose weight for the last time and would like to work with Natalie in a small group setting, visit https://itbeginswithathought.com.

Grab your copy of our new Wisdom From The Life Coach School Podcast book.  It covers a decade worth of research, on life-changing topics from the podcast, distilled into only 200 pages. It's the truest shortcut to self-development we have ever created!

Listen to the show

What You will discover

  • What it’s like to have a full-time weight loss coaching practice.
  • The biggest struggles Natalie’s clients deal with when it comes to losing weight.
  • The worst thing you can do to your urges and desires.
  • Tips for managing urges.
  • The importance of ALWAYS choosing love toward yourself in any situation.
  • How you can start working with Natalie in a small group setting.

Featured on the show

Get the Full Episode Transcript:

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Episode Transcript:

Welcome to The Life Coach School Podcast, where it’s all about real clients, real problems and real coaching. And now your host, Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo.

Brooke: Well hello my friends. I'm so excited. Today we are talking about weight loss struggles with one of my favorite students. I always say this for everyone that comes on. One of my favorite students and weight loss coaches Natalie Brown, and we are going to go through what it's like for her to be a weight coach and we're going to talk about what her life is like practicing full-time, and then we're also going to talk about what are some of the struggles that her clients are dealing with. Maybe some of the struggles that you're dealing with when it comes to losing weight. So welcome to the podcast, Natalie.

Natalie: Thank you. I am so excited to be here.

Brooke: Yay. Okay, so let's start with you just telling us a little bit about you.

Natalie: Okay, so I started I think like probably a lot of people, early on the hamster wheel of dieting. After going through puberty, my body changed and I thought that meant it was broken and the way to fix it was a diet. So I started dieting at 10 and I spent the next 20 years chasing the idea of skinny equals happy, and tried everything and did everything and all of that time was also spent loathing myself for not being right.

And I had the experience of getting to my ideal weight and no sunshine and rainbows started appearing, and I was like wait a second, maybe there's more to it than my body equals my feelings. And so I kind of started on the path of changing my thoughts and the definition of happiness for myself.

And soon after that I had just a minor weight related health diagnosis that also changed my thoughts about weight loss from I needed to look a certain way to I wanted to be healthy, which shifted my experience from I'm disgusting and I want to look better so I can be happy to I love myself and I want to be healthy and obviously, that was the secret sauce. I was able to lose the weight, have a totally different experience of it, and then just have it be a non-issue. I don't even really refer to it as keeping it off because I just feel like it's just the new way that I am.

Brooke: Right. That's exactly how I feel about my weight and about drinking. I don't identify myself as sober, as if you don't drink, you have to call yourself sober or an alcoholic. I'm just not interested in it anymore. It's so interesting to have struggled for so many years and have the experience of not being able to control myself around food to now just have it be kind of a non-issue. So how did you find me?

Natalie: I found you through Jody, and that was kind of after my weight loss experience, so I didn't know that I was using the model and changing my thinking, but I think that's why this work resonated so much with me was because I was like, wait a second, that works, I did it.

Brooke: Interesting. So you were in Jody's program, Jody Moore, she's one of our master coaches, and then what made you decide to become a coach?

Natalie: So I mean, at that same time in my life, I had my last child go into school full-time and I was a stay-at-home mom and just kind of - it threw me another kind of identity shift from being a mom full-time and having this kind of purpose to like, what now? And so I think that's really what drove me to it, and I loved - I thought Jody's life seemed super fun and that I could totally...

Brooke: Jody's life is super fun. I want her life. Okay, but let's just pause here for just a second because I know for sure there are lots of women and men who were in the position where maybe you were is well, I'm ready for something new, I might want to be a coach, but they don't sign up because they're afraid. They don't think they're going to be good enough, they don't think they're going to be able to get clients; they don’t think that they're going to be able to figure out the model, they can't even figure out themselves, that sort of thing. So what was the difference for you and maybe what would you say to those people that are doing that?

Natalie: Well, I kind of adopted at the time this way of living that was just like I'm going to say yes to new things, even if they're scary, even if they're hard, even if I've never done them before. And to be perfectly honest, when I got on the website and looked at the requirements for certification, I literally felt like I was going to throw up. I texted my husband and I was like, maybe not, this sounds like a terrible idea.

So I think - but it was me just really making the decision quickly, just being like, I'm going to decide and have my back on it and not waffle and just see what happens. It's kind of like this attitude of like, okay, let's see how this goes. So I think - I mean, with any time we're changing, there's going to be that tendency to kind of want to stay in confusion because that feels - even though it's uncomfortable, relief compared to going all in and doing the thing that seems so scary.

But I also really want to just live a life where I was making a meaningful contribution in some way to myself, to my family, to the world, and in order to progress, I know that it's so important to challenge ourselves, even to do things that seem totally out of our realm. I was a mom, staying at home. I mean, I have a college degree, but coaching, not even on my radar.

Brooke: Wasn't even something you had considered as a possibility. I think that's what freaks people out is they all of a sudden get this possibility presented to them like, and it's not - and this is what a lot of people have told me as they've met me. It's like in the beginning, it's just like oh, I could feel better by changing my thoughts, that's amazing. That's kind of like the first possibility. I could actually manage my life and enjoy it more.

And then the second possibility is maybe I could become a life coach and do this and work from home, and then once you're a life coach, then I get you and I'm like, now you can make this huge contribution and make all this money and do all these big things, which you have done beautifully. You signed up, you were terrified, and I think a lot of people think oh my gosh, I'm terrified, that means don't do it, and my advice is always the opposite.

Oh, that's a very good sign. It means you're right on track. If you're scaring yourself a little bit every day, that's a good thing. So what is it like to be a weight coach now that you got certified, even though that was very scary, getting certified and going through the class and coaching and all of that, but now you're certified, you made it. You have a practice; you have clients who are paying you for weight loss coaching. Tell us what that's like.

Natalie: It is amazing and challenging and hard and fun and all of the things, of course, but I think it is above all else, so rewarding. I get the experience of offering these tools and the freedom that I have found using them with my weight, all of my wealth of knowledge and experience to be able to help them make changes and that is like - I mean, every single time I hear my clients say oh my gosh, I've never thought about it that way before, I'm like, I know right? So fun.

Brooke: So good. So you work from your house.

Natalie: I do.

Brooke: And you wake up in the morning, you have the most adorable office. I wish everyone could see it, but you come into your office and you see clients on Zoom, which is like video conferencing, and then do you just go client after - tell us a little bit about what a day is like for you.

Natalie: So I have my clients, I see them on specific days, so I make sure that I have time on Mondays to dedicate to my business itself, and flex time on Fridays so that I can make sure that I'm home in time for my daughter who has short days. So I just pack all my clients in the middle of the week. I do a combination of consults and clients.

So I do blocks of time where I do consults in the morning, I have clients in between. I do other things, some things for The Life Coach School, et cetera, but I keep it all on those three days. And yeah, I do it all online here from my home. My office is away from my house so I make sure I have kind of privacy and quiet.

Brooke: That's very important, yes.

Natalie: Yes, So yeah, I try to balance my time for my brain in order to have - I'm not just doing coaching for 10 hours. I want to make sure that I am fresh for my clients, like they're the first person of the day. So I make sure to really take care of myself on the days that I coach to have enough white space and enough transition time so that I can really show up for them like I want them to show up for us.

Brooke: It's so important because what you're doing now, doing your small group coaching and your one-to-one coaching is where I was when I first became a coach. I was coaching my face off. I was so thrilled to be able to help people lose weight and manage their minds and get to the place where I had gotten to because it was such a long haul for me. I felt like I had this secret answer and I was so excited to tell everyone all of the time.

But I do agree that it was very challenging in the sense that the weight loss struggle is real, and so many of us have such stubborn thought systems and we've been in the diet mentality and in the losing weight mentality for so long that sometimes those belief systems are super hard to break out of. So that's kind of what I want to talk about today. I want to talk about what do you notice being the things that your clients are struggling the most with and how are you helping them?

I made a list too, and so I thought maybe we could go back and forth on what you're seeing and what I'm seeing. I'm doing a lot of coaching in Self-Coaching Scholars on the urge jar and we're talking about urges and managing that, and even though it's not a one-to-one coaching session, I still get lots of questions about it and you know, questions about the struggles that they're going through. So why don't you go ahead and start? What are you seeing with some of your clients as their struggles as it applies to losing weight?

Natalie: Well I mean, I think first and foremost, a lot of fear about even starting. People have so much evidence that they cannot succeed. They've tried and tried and tried. So there's a lot of resistance to even starting something because they don't want to set themselves up for that feeling of failing. And then because there's so much out there, they're also confused about where to start. Even if they're ready to dive in, they're like, what do I even do? Everyone's telling me all the different things. So I think that's kind of where it begins.

Brooke: Well, and here's the thing. I remember when I was selling my master class, I was selling it for $12,000 and I remember talking to a woman and she just said, I just don't want to spend any more money or time on this. And I said, but that's clearly not true because you're here, so let's talk about why do you want to spend money. And she goes, well, I don't want to spend money and time on this because of all the things that I've done.

And what I told her is I said, all the things that didn't work always lead up to the thing that does. There's always a pathway to the thing that ultimately works, and if we always look at the failures that don't work as evidence that it's not going to work, that’s when we don't win. So I remember saying to her, I said you know, $12,000 is a lot of money, but if it could end your weight struggle forever, would it be worth it? What would you be willing to pay?

And I remember thinking when I was in the throes of this, the pain and the suffering of this weight loss struggle, and I remember wishing that I could just go to some place, give them money, and have them solve it for me. I remember thinking that. And I did tell her, money doesn't solve this but this coaching, getting to the root cause of it does, and I think that's the only thing that does. Truly the only thing that does.

So I've had that same experience talking to people. It's like they don't even want to try because they're so afraid they'll let themselves down again. And so they suffer, but it's not like they let it go. So it's something that's constantly nagging at them. You know what weight loss is when you haven't done it the way you want to do it is like, homework you haven't done. It's like that burden.

Natalie: It's just hanging over your head because they're in so much discomfort. They're miserable but then I think a lot of it too is probably maybe the next thing that they struggle with is they've had this experience of weight loss that's like, miserable itself. It's restrictive, it's deprivation, that's all it is is I can't eat these things and everyone else is able to eat these things, and they've had that experience of weight loss. And so they're like, not wanting to sign back up for that. It's just not what they want either.

Brooke: That's actually a really good point. The idea that weight loss is an awful experience, and that it is temporary and then you gain it all back. So let's address that because I think if weight loss is an awful experience, you won't continue to do it clearly, and it won't be something that you will be doing for yourself out of love.

Because if you're miserable the entire time because you're using willpower and you're eating bran flakes - that's what I used to eat - and you're suffering through it, you're always going to shy away from doing that. And who wants to start that? I can't wait to start a diet on Monday. No. Everyone wants the result but they don't want the process. So can you talk a little bit about how you overcome that with your clients?

Natalie: Well, I think it's really important to understand and I think this is not a concept - everyone thinks that restriction and deprivation come from not being able to eat these foods, but something we talk about is if someone was passing around a plate of deeply burnt toast or liver and onions and you're not a fan, you would have no problem saying no thanks to it or I'm choosing not to eat that.

So it's not the food creating that feeling for you or the lack of being able to eat it or whatever the rules are that you're - on your plan. It's your thinking about it. So understanding that that's the work that we're going to do, and that it's not going to feel like sunshine and rainbows. There's no promises of that, but it's a different kind of discomfort. The discomfort of growth versus discomfort and suffering of self-loathing and like you said, doing it from a place of hate and disgust. It's a different kind of hard.

Brooke: When I was thinking about this with alcohol, I remember thinking I couldn't imagine having there be Chardonnay and me not wanting it. I couldn't even imagine a world in which that was possible. But then I remember I was actually thinking about it for my clients, and I was thinking about how most of us don't do a lot of overeating first thing in the morning. Most of us do our overeating late at night.

And so I was giving the example like, imagine the chips and salsa that you can't resist when you go to the Mexican restaurant, what if someone put them on your side table when you woke up in the morning? Would they be that irresistible in that moment? And for most people, they say no, I wouldn't even want them, it wouldn't even be an issue. I'm like, that's what your life can be life.

And I did the same thing with myself with Chardonnay. I never wanted Chardonnay in the morning. It was always in the evening and so I started to memorize what it was like to not want it, and I used to think about that in the morning like to not want it, and what I realized is there wasn't restriction, there wasn't deprivation, it didn't feel terrible. It felt fine. It felt normal. It felt natural.

And so that's what gave me this inclination that there was maybe going to be a possibility where I could learn how to not feel so terrible because I couldn't eat all the things all of the time. And we talk a lot about how that requires us to reduce our desire for these foods, and in order to reduce our desire for these foods, we have to understand them first.

And the worst possible thing that we can do for desire is to push it away, to deny it, to restrict it, to - the way that I describe it is to push that big beach ball under the water because it will come back with a vengeance. We have to allow our desire to be there so we can understand it, but we don't have to suffer through it. One of the things that my students have said to me that they have a really hard time with is because I require them or ask them to create a plan of what they want to eat, and then they don't follow through on their plan.

And so they feel as if they've let themselves down, that they're out of integrity, that they're not honoring themselves, and the way they describe it to me is as if they did something that was out of their control. So they'll be like, I just noticed all of a sudden, I was eating pizza. I just noticed, as if they're not the one choosing to do that thing. They're not the one that's made the decision, okay, I'm not going to eat what I planned on eating based on what I know feels great in my body. I'm going to eat this piece of cake that this person just brought over to me.

And I think that abdication of responsibility is a huge piece. That's one of the main struggles, and my solution that I've been offering to everyone is listen, you don't have to make those decisions that you want to make all the time, but you do have to own them. So when you decide to eat the cake, say I decided to eat the cake. Don't say I just noticed all of a sudden, cake was in my mouth and I swallowed it because that just perpetuates the idea that we're out of control. Is that something you're dealing with with yours as well, your clients as well?

Natalie: Yeah, absolutely. I think we are on default thinking of everything being outside of us, right? The control, the power, there's just these food - people describe their overeating as out of their control all the time. They just didn't realize it was happening. So yeah, I think that's a really important part of it is letting go of and or skipping the part where we judge ourselves and shame ourselves and just neutralize the decisions that we make no matter what.

And I think in terms of creating a plan, that's kind of why I start my clients out just - some of them even just start planning just what they're eating anyway so that they can start that process of just neutralizing food, neutralizing the decisions. It's just things that are happening, food that is being eaten, and it's not - there's no moral or ethical judgment of it.

Brooke: This is actually such an amazing point, and if you haven't done this process yourself, if you're having a hard time getting started and you haven't done this process yourself, this is something to really think about. What matters is that your prefrontal cortex, the human part of you, the highest human part of you is making decisions for you, and that your primitive reactive brain isn't making those decisions for you.

So when you make a decision to eat something ahead of time and then you honor that decision, you are creating a relationship with yourself where you can count on yourself. So what Natalie is talking about is sometimes in the beginning, the plan of your protocol, of what you're going to eat may not be foods that will help you lose weight. This is okay.

So for example, you may say I'm going to have Cocoa Pebbles for breakfast. I am going to have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch, and then I'm going to have macaroni and cheese for dinner, for example. Now, this allows for all the foods that are normally forbidden, that would leave us deprived if we couldn't have them.

But here's what happens; even when we plan just those foods and we allow ourselves to eat just those foods, we still aren't responding to our primitive brain in the moment urges and we therefore are igniting all of that desire even though we're eating all the foods that we think should be naughty and bad for us. So it's a real beautiful way to prove to yourself that this really has nothing to do with the food.

It has to do with understanding the difference between managing yourself from a delayed gratification way because we do allow, of course, for exceptions with our food, or are you just responding to everything in your life. Because here's the thing; when you're responding to everything in your life and every single desire in your life and every food that happens to be put in front of you, I guarantee you that's not just happening with your food. It's happening in so many other areas of your life. Okay, tell us another one they're struggling with.

Natalie: You know, so I think this is interesting that we're talking a lot about urges in Scholars and you've had a couple podcasts about it. It's a huge part of weight loss, like managing urges, allowing them, not resisting them, et cetera, but another thing I think is really interesting is that I notice my clients having fear - urge fear. Urge panic. They kind of get to this place where they may be - they've started eliminating sugar and flour, kind of addressing the physiological cravings, et cetera. And so they’ve noticed those minimized a lot.

They're not having a constant drive or constant urges, and then they have a day where they're stressed out or whatever, it's a birthday, and they have an urge and they're like, oh my gosh, I thought I was over this part. They just start freaking out about it, and I think it's so interesting because I think in the beginning, sometimes we want that - to extinguish the desire in order to not feel like the difficulty of the urge itself.

We want to get to the place where we don't want this anymore so we can skip this part where we have a desire and we have to just allow it. So I think - I remember always having the New Year's resolution. After I lost weight, that my goal for that year was to extinguish my desire for sugar. And what it entailed was me resisting and resisting and resisting the desire that I had, and I had this - by March, it was like, worse than it had ever been.

But I had this epiphany, you can imagine, where I realized that I could have the desire for something and just not do anything about it. The desire itself was not the problem, that it was my reaction to it, my resistance of it, and that it was actually a really important part of our survival mechanism. I read this study about rats where they had blocked their dopamine receptors just to test the process, and they would give them sugar water and the rats would visibly respond.

Like, it was like yay - I don't know if it was a rat smile or what was happening, but they clearly enjoyed it, but they had no drive to then get anymore. But the other thing that was happening was they had no drive to eat at all. They had no desire for sex. They had no desire to live and they died. So the idea that desire is natural and important, it's a feeling that we're going to have and that we want to have, but that we don't have to react to it. It doesn't mean that we have to make the decision to eat the thing.

Brooke: Yeah, that is so important. And just to add to that, the ability to manage your desire is something you have to practice. It's something you have to do. And if you don't have a weight struggle where it becomes so clear what exactly that you're doing, you may never have the opportunity. It's almost like my weight struggle really taught me how to be the best version of myself because like for example, I'm writing a book right now and I'm running a company right now, and there are times when I have urges to get in my car and drive to a very faraway place.

By myself and to cuddle up and watch Netflix. That's a real urge. And I do feel like I am one of those people who has been very compulsive my whole life, and so I've given in to a lot of those urges and they've cost me so many things in my life because it was always trading the immediate desire for the long-term desire. And when I learned how to manage that with my food where it's like no actually, I don’t want chocolate cake, what I really genuinely want is a Caesar salad because I know in three days, in five days, an hour from now I'll feel so much better in so many ways.

I'll have more energy, my body will feel better, my face will look better because I won't be breaking out, all of those things, and I was able to really learn, I feel like, how to be an adult. How to delay my gratification and be an adult and how to manage my humanness at the highest level. And that of course has now applied to everything. So when I don't want to write and I'd rather - no one's telling me I have to write. There's nobody forcing me to. There's not a lot of direct negative consequences for not doing it right now, but I still do it because I'm in the practice of not honoring the urges.

And the other thing I talked about in a previous podcast is the urge to just hate myself and recognizing that is an urge now, and just seeing like oh, it's so interesting. When I stand on the scale or eat something that I wish I hadn't eaten, the urge to then follow that up with a good beating is right there and now I have the ability not to react to that. So I think that's a huge one.

Here's the next one I have on my list is being in a hurry. So many of us want to lose weight, and when you ask when would you like to lose that weight? Yesterday is when I would like to lose that weight because when you lose the weight, then everything's better.

Natalie: Yes. Sunshine, rainbows, and unicorns.

Brooke: Yes, and that's when I'll love my body completely and unconditionally. And that's when I will be so much more desired and that's when I will be so much more acceptable and that's when shopping will be so much more fun and I'll love everything about every inch of my body. And of course, when you say it out loud it sounds absolutely ridiculous because all of us, no matter what size body we're in, have human brains that like to judge.

And so you could be at your ideal weight and you'll be hard pressed not to find something wrong with your body because your brain is like oh, I know, do you need some help? That's not looking very good.

Natalie: Yes, that was my exact experience. I was like, well, if my butt was not as saggy, then I would be perfect. Always. There's always something else, and I think it's also, for so many of us, it's our purpose for so long. We're like, it's always the thing that we have to hang our hat on in terms of like, what we're working toward and our goals and what we're going to accomplish, and then when we get there we're like wow, this is not at all what I thought it was going to be, and now what?

Brooke: It's so true. And I just think that understanding what is really going on with this weight loss struggle and pulling yourself out of it to be able to look at it is what allows you to slow down. It just allows you - so what if it takes two years? I'd rather it take two years and have it stay off forever than have it take 10 minutes and gain it back in a week.

And so when you're in a hurry, you're only in a hurry to change the way you're feeling. You believe weight loss will change the way you're feeling. And so I think about this with some of my clients where they'll go to - and I talked about this in the last podcast where they'll go to a dressing room to try something on and they're like, I'm a size 14 and they take the size 14 in there, they put it on and it's too tight.

That is a moment in your life where you have a choice to love yourself or hate yourself. That is a choice that has been presented to you. The truth is you are no longer a size 14 and what you make that mean about you and what you say to yourself about that matters so much. And what we think is oh, I better hate myself, otherwise this will become acceptable, which means then I'll just keep getting fatter and fatter, which of course, my friends, is the opposite of what really happens.

Because as soon as you make yourself unacceptable in your mind, you become more and more unacceptable in your mind because that is the way the model works. So any time you're presented with a choice, whether to love yourself more or love yourself less because of what's on the scale, what you've eaten, what size you are, there is never a downside, ever, ever a downside to choosing love.

And when you've committed to that, when you've committed to always choosing love no matter what, there's never a rush to get anywhere because the rush to get somewhere is I want to get to the part where I'm acceptable and lovable so I can feel better. So I think that's the toughest one when you're in it because you're like yeah, yeah, yeah, should I eat carbs?

Natalie: Right. Yes, the actions they need to take though. How do I get there? Yeah, for sure. What do you eat? Just tell me that, and then...

Brooke: Tell me what you eat. Just tell me what to do to be acceptable is really what we're saying.

Natalie: And to get some relief from this self-inflicted suffering. That's why we're in a hurry. We want the relief of getting to that place and away from this place because we just know for sure, that that would be the relief that we seek.

And it's a beautiful thing to know that relief is available to you at any point, and that it is beneficial to you the sooner you can get there. That really was what changed everything for me was like, I was now making decisions with love in the F line, and that was totally different actions than I was - and it may be that I was restricting my food and or eating differently, changing the way that I ate. Like, I did change my actions in that way, but it's totally different from that place of love versus disgust. It's more - not only does it feel easier, but it's also like, for good.

Brooke: That's the difference. The action may look the same but depending on the F line, the result will either be permanent or it's not. If you're in a hurry or you think you need to lose weight for a certain event to be acceptable at that event, that's when you've really gotten lost. And I hear myself in my own mind do this sometimes. Like when I'll step on the scale or try on certain clothes and just the banter, the brain.

You know like, you notice you're getting older, did you know that bodies get older? Like, that's what my brain will say. Did you know that was going to happen to you? I'm like, you know what, your opinion is noted, but you're rude. So being aware of that and just being like yes, of course, I'm healthy and happy that I'm able to get older. I'm happy that I know how to accept my body.

Because here's the thing; we think okay, if I can just be thin, then I can accept my body and then everything will be great. Alright, let's say we're able to give that to you. Then you're going to get old. We're all going to end up old and dead. That's what - hopefully old, right? Hopefully old and dead. And so the sooner we can get to the point where we can be present with what is, the better. Did you have another one?

Natalie: Well I mean, I think as we're kind of going along, you get started, you get this plan, you're changing your eating, you're doing awesome, and then the thing with the cupcakes and you eat them. And then that same thing that we were talking about, like wanting to skip to the end, I think we then slip into a pool of apathy in order to - we're like, it's fine, I'll try again tomorrow. It's not that big of a deal.

Brooke: I've already screwed it up.

Natalie: Yes. Well, I might as well, so that we don't have to feel the feeling of failure or disappointment, or you know, it's our way of plugging our ears to all of the chatter that happens in our brain when we make that choice. So I think that's another part of the journey that becomes the stop sign for a lot of people.

Brooke: That urge to quit is there.

Natalie: Totally.

Brooke: And the urge to make a decision to go unconscious. And we don't think about it as a decision but it really is because it's like, I remember I used to - I'd be like, this is what I'm going to eat and I would plan what I was going to eat. And then I would have something that wasn't on there, and that was a decision that I made. A decision to sabotage my effort or whatever. And instead of saying okay, that was that decision and that decision is now over, and now I'm going to make a new decision, I would pretend as if that one decision was extended throughout the rest of the week.

Natalie: Totally. It negates everything after it until you decide it starts counting again.

Brooke: But listen, what I want to tell you is that each time, each bite, each thing is a decision after that. So abdicating responsibility for your own decisions doesn't make you less responsible. You are always responsible to yourself and so one of the things I've committed to doing with myself is just telling myself the truth, is that this is the choice that I'm making and I'm making this choice because I've given up on myself or I'm making this choice because I think I don't matter.

And so when you're able to look at a more long-term picture for yourself and you're not in such a hurry, then here's what doesn't matter. You can be on your protocol and eating super healthy and not lose weight for four days. And you don't make it mean anything. You're like, but this feels good, but I'm taking care of myself, but I'm honoring myself. I am not going to be a slave to the scale. I know this makes sense for me, I'm going to keep going is a place where you develop so much strength versus well, if this scale is not going to cooperate, I'm out. I'm eating cake, which makes no sense. The scale's not going down, I'm going to eat cake. The scale's not going down, I'm going to overeat. That will not help.

Natalie: No. That's such a fascinating reaction and I see that with everyone across the board. We made this one choice and I totally agree with you. We're always choosing what we do, the actions that we take, but also by the same token, we're choosing the consequences of those actions, whatever they are. But I think it is so fascinating that our brains are like, well, I ate the one cupcake, I might as well eat an entire pizza and a gallon of ice cream also.

It's like, instead of taking a beat, we make a 180 and run away from the goal as far as fast as we can backward, which is totally counter to what we actually desire, but for some reason our brain convinces us that that's the answer, that that is relief.

Brooke: And then we can feel defeated and beat ourselves up and make it so nothing works when really, one of the things that's so important is just to say no. Instead of saying I ate all this food and I've gained all this weight and this isn't working, that's this very vague, all-encompassing thing, we say no, what exactly did you eat? How many exact pounds did you gain? And what's next?

So it's like, let's just put the facts down and keep moving forward. We're not going to turn around just because, like you said, we run into a red light. So one of the best ways that I know of how to get out of your own brain, of how to focus on what it is you want and have some accountability and get kind of in touch with why you do what you do is to work with a coach.

So I asked Natalie, I said hey, I think that we should put together a group coaching program of 10 people because I get so many requests for my master class and the master class that I used to teach, which was a small group of 10 people where so many people lose weight, that I literally just do not have time to do any more.

So I asked Natalie because her schedule is filling up with one-on-ones, I said why don't we have you do a group, and I wanted to offer it to all of you. Those of you who have kind of been - kind of what we were talking about at the beginning, afraid of stepping in and making the decision to go after this again because you're so afraid it's going to be deprivation and hate and not worth it and that it's not going to work.

There are some of you that know that coaching is what you need and that is the answer. And so I wanted to have her put this group together to be able to offer it to you all so for those of you who want to be in a small group, she'll be starting in the next couple of months that you can prepare yourself and get ready and make this commitment and lose weight for that final time. So you want to tell them a little bit about the group and how you're going to work it and all the details?

Natalie: Yeah. So I love the idea of - I mean, I think one-to-one coaching is amazing. It's intimate, it's personal, and I really wanted to bring the benefits that I have seen and experienced with a group, especially with weight loss, to kind of marry the two. To have a small group so it's plenty of personalized individual attention but with the power that comes from going through this experience with other people who are going through it.

I think so many of my clients feel so isolated and alone, like they're the only one in their family who's changing the way they're doing things and they have this idea that everyone in the world is just eating pizza and cake all day and they're like, the only person that has to make changes and do the discomfort of change. And so I love the idea of being able to have the support and the deep learning that comes from being there to see somebody else get coached and see their experiences and their pitfalls and their wins and all of that together.

And I think in terms of - I'm going to do six months because I feel like that gives everybody plenty of time to learn and to apply. It's a timeline that I think is just a beautiful way to lose, even if it's not all the weight, just to get to a place where you are just - you've got it. You've got it down, you're on your way to success, and I totally - I always talk about it as losing the weight for the very last time. Like this is it. There's always a last time because it just works, and this is the way to do it for sure.

Brooke: Yeah, and I think six months is a perfect amount of time. That's what I used to do. I mean, I had clients lose 50 pounds in that time and I think because it's such a big commitment and there are other people involved, I think that actually, for me, creates this sense of like, somebody cares whether I lose weight or not. I know for so many it's like, people start a diet but nobody knows and nobody cares about it and then they hate themselves and then they overeat, but nobody cares and nobody notices.

Whereas when it’s a group, there's so much support and when someone says hey, I'm reaching out, I'm having a hard time this week, I'm feeling like I've been thinking all week about overeating or whatever, and then you have this group that can talk about it, I think that's so important. The other thing that of course is amazing with group coaching is watching someone else be coached on the very thing that you're struggling with.

It's such a better perspective because it's so obvious that they're amazing, and it's so obvious that they have control, whereas that's not so obvious when it's you having that same experience. So sometimes when you see someone else going through it, you're like, oh, that's what I'm doing, and that can make that shift.

So if you are interested in starting a six-month program with a small group with the most amazing Natalie, you can find out more by going to her website. Itbeginswithathought.com and there will be Natalie. She'll have all the information on the group. You'll need to fill out an application just to make sure you're a good fit, make sure that you're ready for the commitment that it requires.

One of the things about signing up for a group like this, especially a small group is we want to make sure people are all in. When you get 10 people in a group that are all in, they're done, they're ready to lose weight for the last time, that kind of energy is so much more powerful than anything that you can have on your own. So we want to make sure that everyone in that group is totally committed. Anything else you want them to know?

Natalie: No, I think that about covers it. When you were talking about the experience of watching someone else get coached, I also maybe just wanted to add that I think that we have a tendency to extend so much compassion to other people. We watch other people going through something difficult or challenging and we're like, I feel you, I see that, you're doing such a great job, but we - I mean, very rarely naturally extend that same compassion to ourselves. So I love the idea of like-minded people who are all in being able to teach each other compassion for themselves by going through this experience together, and I think it's going to be totally transformative.

Brooke: Yeah, that's beautiful. That's so true. We're so much nicer to everybody else than we are to ourselves, and when someone else overeats, we're like no, it's cool, stay motivated, you can do this. It's not a big deal. Then we do it, we're like, we're horrible people, shoot me.

Natalie: Totally.

Brooke: Oh my gosh, well thank you so much for coming on the podcast. I think this was awesome. I think lots of people have the same struggles that we talked about today, so hopefully this was helpful. If you want more help and you want to deep dive into some coaching, go over to itbeginswithathought.com and find out more information. Thank you, Natalie.

Natalie: Thank you so much. So fun.

Brooke: Bye everyone, see you next week.

Hey, if you enjoy listening to this podcast, you have to come check out Self-Coaching Scholars. It's my monthly coaching program where we take all this material and we apply it. We take it to the next level and we study it. Join me over at the TheLifeCoachSchool.com/join. Make sure you type in the TheLifeCoachSchool.com/join. I'd love to have you join me in Self-Coaching Scholars. See you there.